As with its more grounded counterpart, Arrow, The Flash was back this week with a few surprises and revelations regarding Nora and her involvement with Eobard Thawne. I’m going to get this out of the way before I get into the actual meat and potatoes of the show: I simultaneously absolutely loved and loathed “Godspeed.” Why? Concerning the former feelings, it does an excellent job of fleshing out Nora as a character with regards to her life in the year 2049. As for the latter, it’s like a “fun-sized” version of the entirety of Season Three’s handling of a Flash villain. I’ll expound upon both of these points later. At the end of the episode preceding the short vacation, Nora was outed as having been working with Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne all this time, to which her father responded with a healthy amount of anger. After Barry tosses her into the pipeline, the team sets about discussing what to do next and how to find out Nora’s true motives for being in the present, not believing that Thawne could merely want to help the girl meet her father (a reasonable suspicion, all things considered). Ralph grabs Nora’s Time Journal (that’s still what we’re calling this thing, right?) and they start reading it from the beginning.
The little, leather-bound notebook chronicles Nora’s journey, beginning with another day as a CSI agent for the Central City Police Department. It would appear that her father’s previous penchant for tardiness was hereditary, as Nora also seems to be chronically late to crime scenes. Her latest case deals with very specific chemical compounds being stolen from around the city, and after a brief casing of the scene and review of video footage, she surmises that the culprit is a meta-human – more specifically a speedster, which Central City hasn’t seen since the Flash went missing more than twenty years prior in the Crisis event. At this point, Nora is still unaware that her father was the Flash, as Iris had kept that little family detail secret from her, along with her own inherited speedster powers via a micro meta-power dampener implanted in her hip. Nora and her CSI partner, Lia, begin looking into what the thief could be attempting to use the mix of chemicals for and, as a result, determine where they might strike next. Following the trail, they encounter the fleet-of-feet thief who calls himself “Godspeed,” and Nora is able to piece together what this would-be speed deity is attempting to do: replicate the Velocity-9 formula (if that sounds familiar, it’s because it was a pretty important item in Season Two) and then add a stabilizing agent that would permanently gift him with his powers.
That’s enough nagging on the episode, so I’ll set my comic book knowledge aside for the time being. Instead, let’s talk about what I did like, which was admittedly a lot more things. The whole Godspeed thing notwithstanding, this backstory building for Nora is well done and provides a lot of little nuances to parallel her own father’s first time receiving his powers (same Lady Gaga song), and penchant for being late on the job as a CSI. The scene wherein Godspeed murders her best friend and partner Lia also serves to add an emotional facet to Nora’s character that we didn’t necessarily lack prior, but her having lost someone close to her just like her father has definitely serves to parallel the two further. The scene where Nora finally confronts Iris about the meta dampening device in her is also powerful and heartbreaking in equal measure for both characters. Nora still doesn’t know that her father was the Flash and therefore lacks the context to understand why her mother would go to such lengths to protect her from her own powers. In the present day, Iris seems to have a much different tone as she lets her daughter out of the pipeline after the team had gone through a bit of the notebook, much to Barry’s dismay. Upon the story’s completion, Barry – still angry, feeling betrayed, and no longer able to trust Nora – speeds his daughter back to her time. He tells her to remain there and not come back, and then exchanges words with Thawne, who, oddly enough, sticks up for Nora. Thawne’s ultimate purpose is still unclear, and that is frustrating. All we currently know is that he’s set to die in short order, which, seeing as only a handful of episodes remain in the season, we should be figuring this out with all due haste.